Striving for Unity, in the Name of Christ
By Susie Rowan — Former BSF Executive Director
“After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” – Revelation 7:9–10
If this is our future, what should “now” look like? As Christians, we desire “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” That’s why I was captivated and challenged as I watched the talks at this month’s MLK50 Conference in Memphis, which marked the 50th anniversary of the assassination of civil rights champion the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The history of racial discrimination in the United States is tragic, and unfortunately, discrimination continues to be a universal issue. People of all nations have a sin problem that leads to division and discrimination, whether by tribe or caste, ethnicity or other classifications.
As Christians who are destined to worship together in unified diversity, what can we do today to see this eternal Kingdom reflected in our earthly experience, including our BSF classes?
Would you consider this question prayerfully and watch these videos from the MLK50 Conference?
As you view these videos, consider these words from theologian John Piper:
“The reason God decreed that the gospel would obtain people from every tribe and people and nation is that the aim of the gospel is the glorification of his grace and this ingathering of diverse peoples into one Christ-exalting, unified people who would glorify the power and beauty of his grace more than if he had done things another way. There is a strong confirmation of this in noticing that several texts which command the pursuit of all ethnic groups are explicit that this pursuit is for the glory of Christ.”
– Bloodlines: Race, Cross, and the Christian, (Wheaton: Crossway, 2011), 194–5
Would you pray along with me for gospel-unified diversity in our BSF classes? And would you give us your thoughts by writing blog comments after you have watched these videos?
Ronnie Jackson, BSF Assistant Controller, attended this conference prompting many honest and heart-wrenching conversations. She shared how God worked in her own heart during the conference, and I wanted to share an excerpt of her experience with you.
By Ronnie Jackson — Former BSF International Controller
6:01 PM. …
The bell rang at the Lorraine Hotel on April 4, 2018. The massive crowd of many tongues, tribes and nations hushed in unity to an eerie silence. In that moment, the sun seemed to shine brighter than it had all week! My heart raced as tears fell while we respectfully observed the 50th anniversary of our brother, an American prophet, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination.
The tears fell because I realized that my allegiance is with Christ, not this world. I cried because while racial unity is still unreconciled, God showed me that I get to be a part of the solution. God caused my heart to “awaken” (as He did for Moses using the burning bush) from its slumber. I sat humbled and convicted yet I yearned to learn more as He stirred my desire to pursue genuine unity.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I join Susie and ask you to please listen to these biblically grounded messages and pray for how God will stir your heart as you consider what it means to put gospel diversity into action.
With humility and sisterly love,